Trains, planes and automobiles… while these are the transportation modes that most Americans utilize on a daily basis; there are also a number of people that travel by foot. Given the popularity of wearable technology that works to measure steps and the promotion of walking programs, cities need to give additional attention to how they are creating and maintaining pedestrian systems.

  • Don’t forget the maps – Best practices dictate that pedestrian wayfinding systems should consist of a coordinated family of signs containing head-up map based signs, directional pointers, complementing hand-held maps and map-based signage. In recent years, the use of technology and web based GPS has made it more feasible to also incorporate mobile applications in lieu of hand-held maps. Studies conducted by both Building Legible Cities and MORI suggest that, pedestrians feel most comfortable when they are provided a hand-held map or other tools, which support static sign locations.
  • Keep people walking – The primary goal of a pedestrian wayfinding system should be to help increase walkability within a specific environment. Designing a system that will enhance a visitors’ walking experience, is what ultimately makes a system effective and beneficial. Pedestrian wayfinding systems should provide a legend allowing users to assess distance, ease of access, alternate routes and in many instances, information about their final destination. Advance technologies are also now available that offer uniquely branded touch screens kiosks that link to mobile applications, making pedestrian systems more effective and engaging.
  • Consider the masses – The effectiveness of a pedestrian wayfinding system must also take into consideration every potential user. This means that systems should be accessible to the vision and hearing impaired, as well as meet all ADA requirements. These features can be particularly useful in heavily trafficked public facilities, businesses districts and areas of public transportation. In each instance, the more people capable of utilizing the system, the more effective it becomes. Make sure to address every user as if the system had been designed with them in mind.

If your city is in the process of updating a pedestrian wayfinding system, don’t hesitate to contact us for more information. We can be reached via email at or by calling (888) 982-1234.